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Finastra and Union of Arab Banks to jointly accelerate digital banking

By Leandra Monteiro

March 21, 2022

  • Arab States
  • central bank digital currency
  • Digital Transformation
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Finastra Finastra announced its collaboration with Union of Arab Banks to help banks across the Arab League member states offer enhanced digital services to their customers. The partnership combines Finastra’s universal banking solution with Union of Arab Banks’ extensive ecosystem of banks. The resulting model digital bank, which will be conceptualised, created and developed by Finastra and UABdigital, the Union’s digital arm, will be licensed to Union of Arab Banks members to help them accelerate digitalisation while minimising costs and time to market.

According to research by UABdigital, 78% of Arab state banks say they are ‘well on their way’ with digital. However, resource management remains a central challenge. The model digital bank, which has so far received interest from 35 banks, will help to solve this challenge by providing a shared ecosystem of assets that allows a group of banks to invest in the same solution. It will relate to Finastra’s open development and innovation platform, FusionFabric.cloud.

Suleiman Barada, Senior Advisor and Head of UABdigital said, “Building a truly digital bank can be time-consuming and costly for many of our member banks. With Finastra, we’ve identified a need to simplify this undertaking to help accelerate the pace of digital transformation for banks across the Arab states. This will enable them to meet the expectations of their customers now and for the next generation. Based on a mutual focus around open banking and digital transformation, our collaboration with Finastra will help our members to remain competitive. We intend to work closely with regulators to ensure compliance by design, helping to expedite adoption.”

The core-agnostic solution will be Application Programming Interface (API)-enabled, allowing banks to use the functionalities they need and build integration layers on top for localization, customization and regional compliance. It will incorporate supplementary capabilities, such as Open Banking readiness and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) proofing. The model digital bank will also be designed to enable the fulfilment of several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ahmed Khalifa, Director, Partners & Ecosystem MEA at Finastra said, “The Union of Arab Banks plays an essential role in the Arab financial and banking community by fostering collaboration and keeping up with the latest innovation trends. Combined with our expertise in Open Banking, BaaS and our open platform, FusionFabric.cloud, as well as our significant global and regional customer footprint, we believe that together we can help banks to offer innovative banking services, with agility and speed. We are excited to work with the Union of Arab Banks to roll out a model digital bank for the Arab banking community.”

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